Tag Archives: Bob’s Big Boy

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Big Boy! A Burbank Tradition

Bobs on San Fernando Rd – 1948

We are a lucky people here in Burbank. We are one of a few City’s that still has a Bob’s Big Boy restaurant on the edge of the city near Toluca Lake.

Bob’s was originally a local enterprise begun by Bob Wian. The Big Boy the signature Burger was originally made as a joke for a customer who asked Wian for “something different”. It caught on and soon everyone wanted one!

Bob began to expand his idea and opened a Bob’s at 624 S. San Fernando Road in Burbank. It was a small place with a tall neon sign featuring a character known as Big Boy eating a hamburger. This Bob’s was remodeled to the 1950’s Googie Architecture style of Coffee Shops of the time.

The Toluca Lake Bob’s the one original still left here today is a “California Point of Historical Interest”. In 1993 original Architect Wayne McAllister helped save his creation from the wrecking ball campaigning for its inclusion on the list of California Point of historical interest, thereby saving Bob’s #6 for us to enjoy the food we grew up with and introducing new generations to the Big Boy!

The Friday night car show at Bob’s is a must see event each week. If you are lucky Jay Leno has been known to show up with one of his car collection every now and then.

So just one more great thing that makes Burbank great and one thing that we have here that the rest of the country can only dream of. After all this, I feel like a Big Boy Combo is in my future today.

See you there!

The interior 1948 boy is it packed! Good food will do that!

Same Location after 50’s remodel. Early 1970’s

Coming on November 27, 2017….

Growing Up in Burbank



Get your Copy of Lost Burbank Now!
lost-in-burbank-book-coverSlowly fading with the city’s ever-changing landscape, the places and people of Burbank’s past tell a vibrant story. Before the arrival of Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, First National Pictures built  its original studio lot on Olive Ave in 1926. For over sixty years, Lockheed Aircraft Company produced some of the nation’s best airplanes where the massive Empire Shopping Center now stands. Heavyweight champion James Jeffries turned his Burbank ranch home and barn into a beloved landmark and boxing venue. Inventor Joseph Wesley Fawkes’s scheme to build a monorail to Los Angeles became a local laughingstock.  Diehard Burbankers Wes Clark and Michael Mc Daniel collect these and many more forgotten local stories where they can finally be found.

Road Kings and Bob’s Big Boy Welcome West Coast Customs to Town

West Coast Customs — the world-renowned auto customizer to the stars — received a welcome to Burbank from the Road Kings car club at Bob’s Big Boy Toluca Lake on Saturday afternoon.

The Road Kings are taking a year off from hosting the annual June car show because Johnny Carson Park is under renovation, so members and friends celebrated the club’s 63rd year in town by packing Bob’s parking lot and car-hop area with about 100 classic vehicles.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Road Kings President “Fast Eddie” Salvatore and car show chairman Don Baldaseroni conducted a brief ceremony congratulating West Coast Customs officials for moving the business from Corona to Burbank. It specializes in customizing new cars and restoring classic cars.

“It’s really nice to have another automotive-related hot rod shop in Burbank,” Salvatore said. “We have a few but this is really great for the company, the city and the Road Kings and that’s why we are honoring them today.”

Burbank Mayor Bob Frutos, who drove up in his sapphire 2014 re-introduced Corvette Stingray, came out to lend his support. Having West Coast Customs move to Burbank is good for the local economy, he said.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“There’s a market for it with the studios and everything,” he said, adding that bringing a business of this caliber here provides more jobs in Burbank. “We’re the media capital of the world, whether it’s Comcast-NBC-Universal, Warner Bros., there’s a demand for these fast and furious-type vehicles.”

The car show was also a way to bring together those who love classic cars and fans of modern vehicles, like those that can be seen at West Coast Customs.

“We have a younger generation that maybe doesn’t appreciate the very classic cars like my friends here who like the futuristic cars,” Frutos said. “We’ve always been a very traditional classic car town but now it’s also looking at the younger generation folks — the millenniums — and their passion for exotic vehicles. So I think this is great for our city and it’s great that the Road Kings put this event together to bring the old but also the new — it’s all inclusive and that’s why I’m here.”

West Coast Customs was founded in 1993 by Ryan Friedlinghaus, chief executive officer. Its new location is at 2101 W. Empire Ave. They have lots of events planned, such as a car show on the first Saturday of the month.

Plaques were presented to officials with West Coast Customs from the Road Kings by President Salvatore and Leo Matias, day manager at Bob’s Toluca Lake. Matias also presented the auto customizer with a trophy from both Bob’s Big Boy and the Road Kings.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“I want to dedicate this plaque to West Coast Customs and thank you guys for letting us have this event here at Bob’s Big Boy,” Matias said. “We support all the car clubs like the Road Kings. This is where we have the best car shows in the world.”

President Salvatore presented a plaque that reads “Welcome to Burbank West Coast Customs!”

It was the second time Frutos welcomed the company to the city, he said.

“I know we had the event a year ago but we want to make sure we cement our relationship and appreciate having you here because we are a car city,” he said. “Remember cruising started here in the San Fernando Valley and so for me to be here as the mayor of Burbank and basically being honored here with you together for our city is awesome. To the Road Kings — thank you so much Don and Fast Eddie … for what you do for the different nonprofit organizations in our city and all the club members who are here. You guys are awesome. This is a rare opportunity for me to thank you for what you do and I support the car culture in our city.”

Cheryl Lynch, chief marketing officer with West Coast Customs, thanked everyone for the recognition.

“Super super thank you so much to everybody on behalf of West Coast Customs,” she said. “The shop is really something to see. For any of you who are car aficionados or just want to come and look at some really different stuff we have a 60,000-square-foot facility, tours every day. Come on by. We are going to display these [awards] right in our lobby. When you come in, you will be able to see them. Thank you all so much again!”

Burbank has been a perfect fit for West Coast Customs, said Hunter Clancey, who is in charge of client relations.

“Burbank is such a car and TV-based city and that is essentially our company in a nutshell,” he said. “TV is what we’ve been doing for years now so it goes hand in hand — cars and entertainment.”

Having Bob’s Big Boy and the Road Kings welcome the company to Burbank gives it a great big stamp of legitimacy, Lynch said.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Right? Like OK, they are here, they’re cool, they’ve arrived!” she said. “The Road Kings have been super supportive and the mayor was at our opening in December. And kind of our first little foray. I know Ryan [Friedlinghaus] has come here for the car shows on a couple of Friday nights, so it is all working seamlessly.”

The car show culminated with Bob’s Big Boy Manager Leo Matias presenting trophies to the owners of the best cars in six categories. Winners were Larry Tadlock, Manager’s Choice; Frank Pucio, Best Cruiser; Ismael Ruvalcaba, Best Classic; Sal Moncibais, Best Custom; Ed Tucker, Best Truck; and Donald Lo Bue, Best Hot Rod.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)


Gotham City Takes a Detour Through Burbank

Friday if you were sitting at our famous Bob’s Big Boy, you could wonder if you were really in Burbank, California or actually in Gotham City.   Several Batmobiles drove down Riverside Dr. and pulled into the parking lot for  Friday night’s car show.

The various models of Batmobile eventually returned back to their home at Warner Bros. Studio with an escort of Burbank Police Department Traffic Officers around 7 p.m..   Patrons sitting at Priscilla’s coffee did a double take as the cars rolled by.

Back at Bob’s, hundreds came out for the evening’s car show,  enjoying Southern California weather and a look at some of the classic cars and hot rods on display.


Batmobiles make their return home to Warner Bros. via Burbank Streets. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)